May 12, 2012

Boycott of presidential elections

Boycott, whether it is commercial or political, does not really work but in spite of me being convinced of that,  I will boycott the Egyptian presidential elections. It is not because I think there is no candidates that are worthy of my vote, actually there is one candidate I would vote for wholeheartedly,  But my decision of boycotting is based on two grounds one moral and the other one logic, both sides of my decision being intimately related. On the logic side, my decision is based upon the fact that Egypt is now stuck with a technically freezed and unsupported constitution, the constitution had been declared frozen by the military on February 11, 2011, to convince protesters to leave Tahrir square promising a new constitution within a set period of time, only that promise was rescinded a few days later to be replaced by a referendum about some of the articles, in order to, according to the decision makers,  keep the ball rolling until a new constitution could be written, discussed and then eventually declared. A twisted referendum was hastily organized and the population was sent to the ballot boxes . Although at the time, it did sound like an amazing attendance still 58.5 of the eligible voters abstained, true it was a well attended referendum in a country where in previous elections, voter turnout has run at less than 10 percent, but still nearly 6 out of 10 eligible voters decided out of fatalism or maybe because they were undecided to abstain, which means that the supposedly 77 per cent of the supporters of the amendments are actually 32 per cent which makes the opposition to that amended constitution 68 %. I know this is a twisting of the numbers and that I am not taking many factors into consideration, but I am trying to simplify to get across the point that the existing "constitution" is not really supported or acknowledged by the population. And alternatively to underline that contrary to some claims by some of SCAF members that the referendum was also giving legitimacy to their power hold after all the majority of the population has abstained and it can be argued that nearly 60 per cent have denied support to this allegation. So what about it? Well , here is where my argument hits, if the "working constitution" is not supported or acknowledged by most then we are missing laws that organize the relationship between the State and the Population therefore any elections or political argument should be put aside until we do have this law that will regulate it all. That's about the logical argument and I doubt it is convincing enough to have many supporters. There are also other logical arguments but then I am not trying to convince anyone.
What about the moral side? To make it short it has to do with my refusal to take part into something senseless, as within the actual context a president will only have a mostly illogical role to fulfill , and that is to preside the writing of a new constitution that would make of him an unconstitutional President and the Parliament will then have to ask for his resignation as his presidency will have become unconstitutional. Sounds to me far too complicated and definitely lacking of any guarantees. I refuse to go and do something as irrelevant as voting for an unconstitutional president.
So what will I do? I will boycott and I hope that "boycotters" or "abstentionists"  will take to the streets on election day and just declare that their choice is not out of laziness but out of a refusal to take part in such a loss of time, and therefore denying any legitimization of any of the results and promoting in the medias such illegitimacy.
In my view the alternative is deciding and declaring a constitution that has real popular support.